Marcus Rashford has called on Manchester United to draw inspiration from last year's stunning Champions League comeback in Paris as they look to pull off a similar revival against Manchester City.

United were outplayed in a 3-1 defeat to their bitter rivals in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday, leaving them with a mountain to climb at City in three weeks' time.

There are parallels with the situation Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side found themselves in last March, when they headed to face Paris Saint-Germain in a last-16 tie after losing 2-0 on home soil.

On that night in the French capital, Rashford's last-gasp penalty secured a 3-1 win and sealed progress on away goals.

And Rashford, who wore the captain's armband and scored against Pep Guardiola's City, wants United to rediscover that magic when they travel to the Etihad Stadium.

"It is a different game with different players, but what we found in Paris we have to find that within us again," he told the club's official website.

"We have to go there, score goals and win the game. I think we are capable of doing it. But let's just focus on [Saturday's Premier League game against] Norwich for now and hopefully we can put this result behind us to bring the positivity back."

Rashford was proud to lead his team out for the first time and is closing on a landmark 200th United appearance, with only one more needed to get there, but the England forward is only concerned with results.

"It is obviously a nice feeling [to be captain], but at the end of the day it is the result that matters and we didn't manage to get the win," Rashford said.

"We will look ahead now to the next game, put this one behind us and go again.

"To be honest, the games have all come thick and fast. You don't notice the numbers going up so much.

"It is my 200th game and obviously it is going to be a good night for me. It is definitely a proud moment to play 200 games for this club.

"But if we don't get the three points then for me it doesn't mean a thing. We have to make sure that we win the game and put on a positive performance."

Manchester City have one foot in a third consecutive EFL Cup final after dispatching Manchester United 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-final at Old Trafford.

Beaten 2-1 by their local rivals in the Premier League a month ago, Pep Guardiola sprung a tactical surprise by starting with no recognised striker in a strong-looking line-up.

The move proved inspired as City tore through a United defence that was missing the injured Harry Maguire, with Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal putting them 3-0 up at the break.

Marcus Rashford got a goal back to give United a glimpse of hope ahead of the second leg in three weeks, but a first final since they won the competition in 2017 already looks beyond them.

After a cagey opening, Silva put City ahead in emphatic fashion, driving away from Fred and unleashing a ferocious strike from 25 yards that left David de Gea with no chance.

United had City on the ropes in the first half-hour of the league meeting at the Etihad Stadium, but Guardiola's side were firmly in control and largely untroubled by the threat of the counter-attack.

Their grip on the tie was strengthened 33 minutes in, when Victor Lindelof could not cut out Silva's throughball and Mahrez had time to round De Gea and finish.

A miserable first half for United got worse five minutes later, when the ball deflected off Pereira and into the net after Kevin De Bruyne left Phil Jones on the turf.

De Gea had to make a smart save with his right foot to stop Mahrez from adding a fourth, although City mostly eased off after the restart, and that relative complacency did allow United a lifeline.

De Bruyne's loose pass to Rodri was closed down by Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood raced forward and played in Rashford to slot the ball beneath Claudio Bravo, giving the Red Devils something to hold onto ahead of the second leg.

What does it mean? Final beckons for City, but there is only more scrutiny on Solskjaer

United were outthought and outplayed in the first half and only a minor miracle in the second leg will see them turn the tie around and reach the final.

The home fans stuck by their team admirably in the second half but, with arguably their best chance of a trophy this season all but gone and with performances in 2020 far from adequate, how much longer will Solskjaer be given to implement his long-term vision?

Bernardo sets tone with blockbuster

Silva's goal was spectacular, but his assist for Mahrez was of an equally high quality. United simply did not know how to keep him in check.

Pereira out of his depth

Injuries mean United's midfield options are down to the bare minimum, but Pereira may have played anyway given the trust he has been given by Solskjaer. Such was his display here, his manager's faith may not last much longer.

What's next?

These two meet in the second leg on January 29. More immediately, United host Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday, while City head to Aston Villa a day later.

Mikel Arteta tasted victory for the first time since taking charge of Arsenal after Nicolas Pepe's third league goal of the season put his side on course for a 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

Ivory Coast international Pepe capitalised on a nervous start to the game by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who lost for only the second time in 10 league games after failing to expose Arsenal's flaws in the way Chelsea had done in a 2-1 win on the same ground three days earlier.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos doubled Arsenal's lead just before half-time and the hosts' improvement was testament to Arteta's impact on a squad that has appeared disjointed for much of this season.

The revived performances of Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in the Gunners' midfield will have particularly pleased the coach, who delivered Arsenal's second victory in 13 gruelling Premier League games that had seen them drop into the bottom half of the table, this result lifting them back up to 10th and offering cause for optimism at the start of 2020.

Marcus Rashford sent a shot dipping into Bernd Leno's arms from 25 yards in the first minute as United showed their threat on the break.

But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's trickery set Sead Kolasinac free in the United box after just eight minutes and his cross deflected into the path of Pepe, who swept into the net from 12 yards to get the hosts off to an excellent start.

Pepe went agonisingly close to doubling Arsenal's lead seven minutes before half-time when David de Gea's careless clearance fell to him 20 yards out and he curled a shot onto the post with the United goalkeeper flailing.

But Arsenal kept the pressure on an embattled United defence and got their reward when Alexandre Lacazette flicked a corner into a crowd of defenders before it bounced to Sokratis, who lashed it high into the net from close range.

Fred tied his luck with a rising shot from 25 yards 10 minutes into the second half, but Leno claimed it comfortably as United struggled to create the space they needed to trouble Arsenal.

Nemanja Matic did carve out an opportunity with a clever ball into the area a few moments later but substitute Andreas Pereira hit the side-netting with his angled effort.

A foot injury to Kolasinac was the only fly in the ointment for Arsenal, who will hope this victory marks the beginning of a push towards a place in the top six that only recently looked very much beyond them.

 

What does it mean? The end of a long wait at the Emirates

Arsenal's previous home victory in the Premier League came all the way back on October 6, when they beat Bournemouth 1-0, but the way Arteta's men stuck to their task and bettered United all over the pitch will have satisfied fans as much as the result.

Attack the best form of defence for Kolasinac

Kolasinac's surging runs gave United no rest as Arsenal attacked with an extra man throughout the first half, and he kept up his all-action display down the left flank to ensure Ozil always had an option out wide.

Martial goes missing

The service directed towards him was intermittent, but when Anthony Martial did receive the ball in dangerous areas he was too often slow to react and opted to isolate himself in an advanced position rather than dropping deep to help his toiling midfield colleagues.

What's next?

Arsenal are at home again on Monday when Leeds United visit in the FA Cup, following the Red Devils' trip to Wolves in the same competition on Saturday.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed his side's ability to "grind out results" after the Red Devils survived a flurry of late Burnley chances to triumph 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Anthony Martial scored his third goal in two games one minute before half-time to put United ahead in a game they dominated for long periods, but hosts Burnley heaped pressure on David De Gea's goal in the final 15 minutes at Turf Moor.

A late United break produced a second goal when Daniel James played in Marcus Rashford for his 12th Premier League strike of the season and clinched a result that moved the Red Devils up to fifth in the table, just a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Solskjaer admitted his players should have put the game to bed sooner but praised their performance following back-to-back victories, describing himself as "very happy".

"In the first half I thought we were very good," said Solskjaer. "We controlled it, dominated it, scored a nice goal. Second half of course there's going to be a couple of instances in your box because they're desperate to get a goal and throwing men forward.

"We could have finished the game off really, we had some great counter-attacking chances. We should have got the second goal earlier but there was some great defending.

"It's important for us to know that we can grind out results as well, even though when you score one you don't always win. If we can get clean sheets we've got a chance to move up the table."

United travel to Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal on New Year's Day and Solskjaer called for his players to maintain the momentum that has helped them go nine matches with just one defeat in all competitions – a 2-0 reverse at Watford on December 22.

With Martial and Rashford hitting form, United will be widely backed to get a result against an Arsenal side adapting to life with a new head coach Mikel Arteta at the helm.

Solskjaer said his forwards must be less wasteful than they were against Burnley, adding: "You're always kicking yourself when you don't take your chances. There were so many great counter-attacking opportunities, when we made wrong decisions or were a little bit too slow to get the finish off, but it was an excellent performance.

"Let's see what we do against Arsenal. We want to keep that momentum going. Two wins after a disappointing game against Watford. Happy with that. Good response. The boys are learning."

Anthony Martial scored his third goal in two Premier League matches to help Manchester United to a 2-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor that moves the Red Devils up to fifth in the table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men kept their first clean sheet in the league since September and successfully broke down Burnley's packed defence with some patient attacking play, forcing the opener just before half-time and doubling their lead in second-half stoppage time through Marcus Rashford.

After losing 2-0 at Watford in their previous away game, United delivered the improvements they sorely needed at the back while dominating possession in midfield despite the absence of Paul Pogba, who was rested following his return to fitness, as they built on a 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

Burnley were looking to make it three league wins from four but failed to recover from an error by full-back Charlie Taylor that led to Martial's strike, squandering a flurry of late opportunities before Rashford scored his 12th league goal of the season.

Rashford stung Nick Pope's palms with a free-kick from 30 yards in a cagey opening spell in which the England forward also hit the outside of the post with a low, first-time shot from the edge of the box.

The ball fell to Martial little more than six yards out after 33 minutes, but the France international's effort was crucially blocked on the line by former United defender Phil Bardsley.

Having kept the visitors at bay for 44 minutes, Burnley self-destructed when Taylor fumbled possession and allowed Andreas Pereira to feed Martial, who took a touch and stroked a low shot past Pope into the bottom-right corner.

Martial had the ball in the net again four minutes into the second half, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on James Tarkowski and Burnley almost equalised when Bardsley's angled drive drew a diving save from David de Gea.

Harry Maguire brought down Jack Cork on the edge of the United box to present substitute Johann Gudmundsson with a chance from a free-kick, but the Iceland international blazed over the crossbar.

Burnley threatened an equaliser throughout a frenetic final 15 minutes only to be caught out right at the end when Daniel James sprinted over the half-way line in posession and squared to Rashford, who rounded Pope before scoring his second in as many games.

 

What does it mean? Creativity shortage sets up tense finish

Solskjaer will have been pleased to see his defence cut out the errors that cost them dearly at Vicarage Road but a failure to put the game to bed sooner might have been punished by a side better than Burnley.

Rashford runs Burnley ragged

Finding a link between midfield and attack has often been United's problem against sides who sit back this season, but the immense amount of ground covered by Rashford – who frequently dropped deep to carry the visitors forward – solved that here. He then rounded off the win in the latter stages.

Taylor toils in tussle with James

James has proven himself to be a handful for Premier League defences since he joined United in January and Clarets left-back Taylor struggled to cope with him, playing misplaced passes and getting forced into errors by the rapid Wales winger.

What's next?

While Burnley will fancy their chances of taking three points when Aston Villa visit Turf Moor on New Year's Day, United could find victory harder to come by against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again compared Marcus Rashford to Cristiano Ronaldo after Manchester United's win over Newcastle United.

Rashford scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season – his best tally in a campaign – in the 4-1 Boxing Day victory at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has compared the 22-year-old to former United star Ronaldo previously and the manager did so again after Rashford's superb header.

"He is a physical specimen. He's looking after himself, working hard in the gym," he told a news conference.

"When you've got that spring, it's just about having courage and getting up there.

"I remember a boy I used to play with that used to head it quite well when he was close to goal. And we compare them quite often.

"So, that's another string to his bow Marcus that Cristiano used to get when he was getting to that age as well."

Anthony Martial netted a brace and Mason Greenwood also scored against Newcastle, who had taken the lead through Matty Longstaff.

Martial is up to six goals in the Premier League this season and Solskjaer said his team needed to make better use of the France forward.

"The key is to give him the ball. He's not going to be the one who runs down the channels all day long," he said.

"We need to give him the ball and feed him. I think the boys have said that many times themselves. We need to feed Anthony more, play forward more and into the frontmen.

"Especially Anthony, it's important for him to touch the ball a lot then he feels in the game. Today was almost the same goal as he scored against [Manchester] City, down to the bottom with his left foot. It could have been his hat-trick."

United are seventh, four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and make the trip to Burnley on Saturday.

Manchester United return to winning ways as Anthony Martial scored twice in a 4-1 triumph over a generous Newcastle United side at Old Trafford.

Having lost 2-0 to then-bottom Watford last time out, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side appeared to be suffering a Christmas hangover when they fell behind to Matty Longstaff's 17th-minute opener on Boxing Day.

Manchester United's defence had been given an early reprieve when Dwight Gayle carelessly blazed over when clean through, but Longstaff – scorer of the only goal in the reverse fixture back in early October – made them pay, collecting Joelinton's layoff before angling a low shot beyond David de Gea.

However, any thoughts Steve Bruce may have harboured of completing a league double over his former club had disappeared by half-time.

Martial drew the home side level when his low first-time shot from Andreas Pereira's cushioned pass crept in at the near post, the ball squeezing beyond Martin Dubravka to reach the net.

Newcastle then gifted the hosts a second, their attempts to play their way out of trouble only seeing Fabian Schar play a pass straight across his own penalty area to Mason Greenwood, who let loose a thumping left-footed drive that flashed beyond Dubravka with the aid of a slight deflection.

Marcus Rashford climbed above Schar to head home Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s inviting cross and make it 3-1 by the interval, while Martial added a fourth when converting a one-on-one opportunity early in the second half.

The Frenchman was once again the beneficiary of a present from the visitors, played clear by Sean Longstaff's under-hit back pass. Denied a hat-trick by a post, he was withdrawn with the crowded festive fixture list in mind.

Marcus Rashford can do "much, much more" and still has plenty of scope to mature into a better player, Manchester United team-mate Nemanja Matic says.

Rashford has scored 14 goals for United in all competitions in 2019-20, which is already his best return for a whole season in senior football.

The 22-year-old has emerged as something of a leader in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's young side and has been a consistent performer amid a hugely up-and-down few months for the team at Old Trafford.

Matic, though, thinks Rashford can still become a much better player, provided he is given time to develop.

"Marcus has great potential," he told Omnisport. "He's a great guy also off the pitch, but I think he hasn't used all his qualities yet. He needs to mature more and I can say every year, every month, he's getting better and better.

"I think in the future, in the next two or three years, he will show what he can really achieve because he can do much, much more in my opinion. But he's still young. We can't expect him to play 40 games at the same level because he's still young, still learning, he's still developing his body, his mentality.

"He can be one of the best strikers in the world, for sure."

United have mostly performed well against stronger opponents this season, beating Tottenham and Manchester City this month, but Sunday's 2-0 loss to bottom-of-the-table Watford underlined their struggles against the Premier League's so-called lesser lights.

Matic thinks the playing field has mostly levelled in England's top flight, though, given the amount of funds at the disposal of the clubs.

"I think every year the Premier League improves," he said. "Top-six teams have always been top six and they always play good football. They always had the best players but, over the last 10 years in the Premier League, I think the small clubs have improved a lot.

"They've started to invest more. Even the clubs who fight to stay in the league, they can buy players for 30, 40million. I think the standards in the Premier League are higher and that's why the big teams find it very hard now to win. I think this is good for football, good for the Premier League and I think in the future it will be even harder for the top teams."

Former United stars have been quick to criticise the current team when on duty as television pundits, something Matic thinks can be unfair at times when it is focused on the younger players.

"I think it's their job if they go on television, it's their job to say something," he said. "Sometimes they say the truth, probably; sometimes they criticise the younger players, which isn't good, in my opinion, especially if you're an ex-player of Manchester United and you criticise the players and you know you've been there 10, 15, 20 years ago.

"You have to help the players if you can. But they probably get money to work there and they have to say something. To be honest, I don't watch that much, when I see some clips or something, yeah, but I know what my job is and for me, the most important opinion is my coach, my club. If they're happy with my work, that's it."

Matic has watched former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard enjoy an encouraging first season as Chelsea head coach, and the Serbia international is thrilled to see him making the most of a challenging role.

"I'm very happy because I saw Lampard, I saw Petr Cech is back at the club and I think it's very important for Chelsea because they know what Chelsea is, they have experience in football, and I'm happy that they are there," Matic added.

"I'm sure they can help the team and if you speak about Frank, I played with him, and he's great, a great person, he was amazing as a player, as you know, and I'm sure that he will improve Chelsea and he will do great. I wish him all the best."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his Manchester United players are looking forward to "a nice little draw" after they were pitted against Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-finals following their 3-0 win over Colchester United.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial either side of a Ryan Jackson own goal ensured the Red Devils made light work of their League Two opponents at Old Trafford, but Solskjaer felt his players let their standards slip across the course of the game.

Colchester held Crystal Palace and Tottenham to draws before beating both sides on penalties in earlier rounds of the competitions and Solskjaer was more impressed by his side's performance in a goalless first half against the U's than he was after the interval.

"We dominated, created chances, but you're never sure until you get the first goal," said the former United striker.

"They've had 0-0 against Palace and Tottenham, they are a good, hard team to break down. We created enough chances first half to put it to bed but then at least we got goals in the second half.

"If we kept playing like the first half I would have been happy but in the second half we were miles worse.

"We created more chances in the first half, we dominated, we were more patient; second half we did not make as many good decisions but we scored the goals."

United will play City in the semi-final over two legs, during weeks commencing January 6 and 27.

Solskjaer's men beat City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on December 7 and the United boss seemed pleased with the draw.

"You always want to win trophies and you want to win games and we got a nice little draw," he said.

"It'll be exciting times coming up.

"I don't feel anything is written in the stars; you just work hard, take what you get and do the best out of it.

"We've shown before that we can do well against City and teams like that."

Marcus Rashford said he is "bang up for another derby" after Manchester United were paired with rivals Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

Both clubs knocked out lower-league opposition on Wednesday to set up a two-legged meeting in the last four, with the matches set to be played in January 2020.

Rashford starred in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Colchester United at Old Trafford, extending his fine run of form by scoring his 14th club goal of the season.

The England striker was also on target when United recorded a shock 2-1 win against Premier League champions City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.

Rashford has a strong record in the derby having also hit the winner in the fixture during his breakthrough campaign at United.

The 22-year-old is looking forward to the next chapter of one of football's historic rivalries.

"Made to work for it but job done tonight getting into semis," Rashford wrote on Twitter after United's defeat of Colchester midweek.

"Bang up for another derby too. Best games to play. Best games to win."

United's last EFL Cup title was in the 2016-17 season when they beat Southampton in the final.

City have won the tournament in three of the past four years, including each of the past two seasons.

Marcus Rashford scored his fourth goal in five games as Manchester United netted three times in 10 second-half minutes to beat Colchester United 3-0 in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

After Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men put the Old Trafford faithful through a drab first half in which they failed to make 80 per cent of the possession count, Rashford broke the deadlock six minutes into the second period with a fine solo effort.

Rashford would have had a second five minutes later had Colchester's Ryan Jackson not put through his own net, and the in-form forward then provided an assist for Anthony Martial to score his seventh goal of the season in all competitions.

The flurry of goals was no less than the Red Devils deserved for a fluid second-half display, with Colchester, who are ninth in League Two, made to pay for errors that had been absent in penalty shoot-out victories over Crystal Palace and Tottenham earlier in the competition.

Rashford sent a free-kick dipping wide from an acute angle early on, and Colchester goalkeeper Dean Gerken was then forced into a low reflex save when the England man's cross was deflected goalwards by Brandon Comley.

Colchester defended with 11 players behind the ball for much of the first half and, in doing so, exposed Anthony Martial's limitations as a target man, the France international's presence largely nullified by the visitors' packed, physical rearguard.

When Martial did receive the ball in space on the cusp of half-time, he hit a swerving shot from 20 yards that whistled narrowly wide of the top corner.

Ryan Jackson missed a one-on-one wtih Sergio Romero early in the second half whereafter Nemanja Matic immediately released Rashford, who burst through on goal, skipped across the penalty area, with Colchester defenders scrambling, and lashed the ball high into the net from 12 yards.

The second soon followed when Mason Greenwood's dangerous cross from the right hit Jackson's thigh and dropped into the net, with Rashford lurking.

The third was the pick of the bunch, Juan Mata sending a curling, weighted pass to Rashford's feet in the box, where the forward crossed first time for Martial to bundle home.

The visitors improved in the final 20 minutes and two chances fell to striker Luke Norris, but the best he could muster was a shot into Romero's midriff as the minnows' fine run ended without a consolation goal.
 

What does it mean? Silverware in sight for Solskjaer

In a season that has at times been gruelling for Solskjaer, winning any trophy would feel represent significant success, and he will hope the likes of Rashford and Martial can maintain the sharpness they are showing in front of goal going into the semi-finals.

Rashford leads the line

On an evening when it took him a few fluffed chances to get his eye in, Rashford kept up his recent habit of turning games in Manchester United's favour with an opening goal that oozed confidence.

Jackson goes from dangerous to bad

A matter of moments after he looked set to score a goal that would have been the crowning moment of his career, Colchester full-back Jackson could only watch as Rashford exploited the space he left vacant to score with ease.

What's next?

Solskjaer takes his men to Watford on Sunday for a clash with the Premier League's bottom club, giving United the chance to go seven top-flight games unbeaten. Colchester are at home to Carlisle United in League Two on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Manchester United's current strike force to the combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez as he hailed the versatility of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James.

Rashford and Martial were on target as United beat Manchester City in last weekend's derby at the Etihad Stadium, and Solskjaer believes the young England forward is showing signs he can follow in the footsteps of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

Solskjaer and Ronaldo spent four years together as players at Old Trafford, before the Norwegian worked with his former team-mate as a forwards coach, and few people are better placed to compare the Juventus star with Rashford.

Speaking about the fluid movement and interchanging positional play of Rashford, Martial and James, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: "I think that's a big strength of ours as a team.

"If Marcus runs in behind, Anthony will get some space because it stretches the opponent. It can be the opposite way around too, with Anthony and Dan running in behind and Marcus coming to feet to get on the ball.

"I see this attack as being quite similar to the one we had with Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, with the interchanging of positions and the fast, flowing football."

Under Solskjaer, Rashford has equalled his best Premier League goal return in a single season within the first half of the 2019-20 campaign.

Rashford's 10th league goal of the season came from the penalty spot against City and Solskjaer praised the 22-year-old's versatility while drawing comparisons with Ronaldo, who played on the wing and as a striker during his time in Manchester.

"Of course it's hard to say with certainty that he's going to be as good as Cristiano, but you can see the similarities more and more in terms of Marcus' traits on the pitch," said Solskjaer.

"He can play through the middle, he can play as a number nine, he can cut inside from the left and finish. He can even play on the right, as Cristiano did when he came here. He's got the same physical stature and more or less all of his attributes are very, very similar. Even their stats are similar, in terms of goals scored after a certain amount of games."

"You have to remember that, as well as playing with Cristiano, I coached him in my first year as a forwards coach here," he added.

"Both players are very professional, very dedicated, very in love with football. And you can see that Marcus is getting more of a taste for that now, both with us and with England. He is pushing himself and seeing the results."

Marcus Rashford labelled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo as "nice", but the Manchester United forward said he still had a way to go to reach those heights.

Rashford was compared to Ronaldo by his manager after starring in United's 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester City last week.

But while happy with such talk, the 22-year-old said he needed to improve to match the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and United great.

"The Ronaldo thing was nice, definitely a compliment," Rashford told BBC Sport.

"But I understand how far I've got left to go to reach the heights he reached so I am very clear-minded and focused on myself."

Rashford came through the academy at United and has already made 191 senior appearances for the Premier League giants, scoring 58 goals.

The forward has a painting on the walls at Carrington after coming through the youth system and Rashford said he knew the responsibility he held.

"It is a bit overwhelming but it is the process of development. The players I looked up to are obviously older now. The younger players look up to us," he said.

"The transition happens so fast. When I understood that, my perception of that picture changed a little bit.

"When I was younger and saw people such as [David] Beckham and [Paul] Scholes on the walls, it gave me that determination every time you went to training. I wanted to reach those heights. I knew they were on the other side of the building, training every day and working hard. I was so far away from them but so close at the same time.

"It's happening now where people like me and Scotty [McTominay] are an example to some of the academy lads who are coming in. It will be the same in a few years' time, when it's the next lot of kids.

"While that happens, I don't see United's breeding of players slowing down."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Marcus Rashford can reach the level of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rashford continued his excellent form to start the season with another goal in United's stunning 2-1 derby win at Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.

The 22-year-old United and England star has scored 13 goals this term – 10 of those coming in the Premier League.

And Solskjaer backed Rashford to emulate five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, who claimed three Premier League titles and the Champions League with United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.

"It's very easy to compare the two of them, yeah," said United boss Solskjaer. "Both with skills, body shape, attitude, attributes - everything.

"The boy [Rashford] has every chance in the world to become a top, top player. Let's hope he continues like this.

"I don't want to talk about the amount of goals. As long as he keeps being positive and being direct and thinking about getting in front of the goal and getting chances, he'll score goals."

United – up to fifth in the Premier League standings following wins over City and Tottenham – welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Not before United face AZ in their sixth and final Group L Europa League fixture on Thursday.

Manchester United have the firepower to push for a top-four finish in the Premier League, says Harry Maguire, but the defender stated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side must not get ahead of themselves.

United claimed their second successive victory as they secured a 2-1 derby victory over Manchester City on Saturday, three days after defeating Tottenham - managed by former boss Jose Mourinho - by the same scoreline.

The wins have taken United up to fifth, five points shy of fourth-place Chelsea, who on Saturday lost 3-1 to managerless Everton - United's next opponents in the league.

With Marcus Rashford having already matched his total tally of league goals from last season and Anthony Martial having netted what proved to be the winner against City, Maguire believes United's frontline has the quality to push them towards Champions League qualification.

However, the England centre-back is adamant United's squad will stay grounded, with the league outside of the top four still heavily congested.

"I think you need to look after your own results, don't look elsewhere, keep winning games," Maguire told Sky Sports. "We've won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We've got another big game next week now.

"The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.

"Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they're going to score goals.

"At the start of the season, we didn't really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it's a few games on the spin where we're back to scoring goals.

"They're a big threat, they're top players, great talent and I think it's all coming together now."

Before hosting Everton on Sunday, United face AZ in their final Europa League group match, with an EFL Cup quarter-final against Colchester United coming up prior to the festive period.

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